Francois Hollande might have campaigned against austerity cuts, but the newly elected Socialist President of France has not spared himself from budget-busting.
He said he will cut his own salary by 30 percent; and also reduce the pay of his newly formed cabinet, which consists of 34 ministers.
Hollande will now take home about 14,910 euros ($19,100) per month, down from 21,300 euros.
The cabinet ministers will see their wages slip to 9,940 euros per month, down from 14,200 euros.
Ironically, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s biggest hawk on austerity, just voted for a 3.3 percent pay raise for herself and her ministers. Prior to the increase, Merkel earned a little over 16,000 euros per month.
Meanwhile, France’s new finance minister maintained that he will not ratify Europe’s treaty on fiscal discipline unless it includes measures to foster growth.
What we've said is the treaty will not be ratified as it stands, Pierre Moscovici told BFM TV.
We're firm on this. It [the treaty] must be fleshed out with a part on economic growth, and when I say that, we're talking about an ambitious growth strategy.”
Hollande has already met with Merkel immediately after assuming office and laid out his plans for adhering to tight oversight of France’s public finances, while seeking ways to spark growth in a moribund economy.
Moscovici added: What we are saying -- and we are all very pro-European, Francois Hollande is very European, [the new prime minister] Jean-Marc Ayrault is very European and I am very European -- is that we must take the construction of Europe in a new direction, not to shrug off budgetary responsibility ... for us budgetary responsibility and economic growth are not opposites.”
Separately, it has emerged that France’s new foreign minister has something interesting in common with the outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Laurent Fabius, when he served as Prime Minister, had an affair with Carla Bruni, who is now Sarkozy’s wife, prior to her marriage.
A source in France’s Socialist Party told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: It was brief but very passionate, and it's one which we are now going to hear a lot about. At the time Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy was very much a left-winger with plenty of friends in the Socialist Party. Mr. Fabius was France's youngest-ever Prime Minister in the mid-1980s, and Carla found this very attractive indeed.
Valerie Benaim, a French political biographer who has written extensively about Bruni, told media: It's true that their relationship was known to the French media, but nobody reported it. One thing is certain -- Carla must like politicians, because she also had an affair with the former [education] minister Luc Ferry.
Bruni, who once said “monogamy bores me,” has had a long list of famous lovers, including journalist Jean-Paul Enthoven, his philosopher son Raphael Enthoven, as well as British rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.